Friday, March 26, 2010

Should You Stay in the BPD Relationship?

This is a question that's posed to me quite often. You're in a relationship with a borderline. Do you stay or do you go? You know that it's going to be hard to leave, but the pain and abuse that you deal with is so great that you just can't take it any more.

The Good Outweighs The Bad
I remember being with the BPD and being asked by a counselor, "why do you stay in the relationship?" The reason was simple -- the good outweighed the bad.

Every relationship has difficulties. We all carry baggage from our childhood, our adolescence, our teen and high school years, and our adult lives. How we deal with the baggage and how we handle the issues in the relationship is important.

If you're in a relationship and can see that things are being handled in a constructive, healthy fashion, and you're happy, you should stay. Even if you were with someone who had borderline characteristics and was doing the right things to address them, then maybe it would work. You would know that they are doing the right things.

The problem with most borderlines is that they are so scared deep down inside that they won't admit their faults. They just won't. So they blame everything on their partners.

If you can look at the relationship and feel that the good outweighs the bad, then maybe it's worth it to stay in the relationship. In time, if the person is a true borderline, chances are that the bad will outweigh the good.

The Bad Outweighs The Good
You know the deal here. You're staying in the relationship because you're afraid. You don't know what life will be like without the borderline. You're afraid of being alone, you have financial issues, there's something that's keeping you in.

Here's the good and bad news -- everything will be just fine. You have to believe and get yourself out, because if the bad outweighs the good, you're in an abusive relationship. It's not good for you.

It's not good for you.

Only You Can Decide
No matter how much we try to help another with this decision, only you can ultimately make this decision. When it's time to go, you should go. Do not stay in an abusive relationship, because this is your self-worth that is at stake.

Do the right thing for yourself. You are responsible for your self-worth, so take care of you.

16 comments:

  1. My former BPD partner in deep in therapy now.
    I am waiting and watching her progress. I have a therapist too. I told my Therapist that if the positive side outweighs the negative side during this therapeutic intervention then I will return to the relationship. I have never had anything before like the good part of this relationship and I am going to wait it out.

    It is going to be interesting to see what happens because the therapeutic intervention is a very innovative approach. My former BPD Partner is hovering still apparently unaware of her possible diagnosis.

    I am hopeful but cautious. I have decided to share each step of the process here hoping that it will help other couples dealing with this struggle and if the intervention works I am going to share the process so it will help others.

    From the very beginning my partner said, "there is some reason why we have come together. We are going to do something together that is very important."

    "We have something that we are supposed to do together to help others." She said that again to me on the phone today. I will keep you posted.

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  2. Please be careful...what your partner said made me gasp...mine said the same thing: "we're supposed to do something wonderful together to help others"... Only a week later he choked me and told me he'd "end me".
    I am -no contact- for over a year and still trying to recover myself. Please take care of yourself...this disorder is a soul-stealer.

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  3. The BPD Lady has all but disappeared from my life again no contact just like a switch going off. I cannot believe how a person with BPD can just completely disappear and negate everything they express and do previously in a very positive way. Actually the most positive I have ever been treated by the opposite sex in my whole life. Now gone just like that! I should have realized it was too good to be true but I didn't.

    Thanks for your comments LaurelP I am going from hour to hour one day at a time. I finally got up enough courage to join a codependent group this week to work on my issues. That group was very strange too the other members of the group were all very angry women!

    I have been struggling to avoid contact with the BPD Lady because I feel so strange when I am with her and when I talk to her because everything in our relationship has changed so much. The relationship went from the deepest intimacy I have ever experienced to the most painful distance I have experienced in just three weeks.

    I may be wrong but she doesn't even seem to be aware of how strange her behavior is?
    I have been tempted to send her some BPD information anonymous but I am struggling with that decision.

    Deep down I know I just need to break completely free or there is something seriously wrong with me to keep going back for more rejection and actual abuse.

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  4. I really appreciate your advice about staying or leaving a relationship when a spouse has bpd. I have just discovered that my spouse does and he is receiving therapies but has been unable to figure out that he has bpd. My spouse consistently accuses me of having bpd and the projection seems to be at a severe label. The diagnosis helps explain the emotional and verbal abuse towards me in the past few years. My once loving spouse began to devalue and demean me consistently. The therapy has not made a significant impact at at this time and I feel for a better quality of life, leaving may be best. My partner seamlessly changes from deeply loving and then manipulative and vindictive within moments. I feel pretty despondent with this situation at this time and will follow your blog to see if ur outcome is rewarding for u and brings u a healthy relationship.

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  5. i just came out of the relationship with bpd. i feel that i need to be strong and refuse myself any contact with him. it is indeed very deep deviation and i still can not believe that i have being through it.
    me too, wanted to believe that things will get better. alas, they only got worst.
    i do feel worried for him and concerned as he, himself, wants to be a therapist to others. i am truly concerned about it. i would ask for a suggestion what should i do about it, should i intervene or should i just disengage myself, as mentioned, my self-worth is at stake.

    would anybody have advice?

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  6. Let go of your BPD, save yourself now before they drag you into their bottomless pit of pain and dispair. Then, they will discard you anyway and find someone else to provide a new source of self-worth to fill the void where normall humans keep their souls. I know it is difficult - you are responsible for yourself and your own self worth. These people look normal, so it can be easy to fall into denial ourselves. The one give away is the "Crazy Eyes", all BPDs have them - take note and you will avoid these people in the future. Things will get better, focus on youself and take care of yourself. The BPDs words are worth nothing. Let their actions and/or inactions speak to you. They are BROKEN. If you stay they will break you too. People that try and stick it out with these people live horrible lifes and die horrible deaths. If you decide to stay you can look forward to a reduction in your life expectancy by approx. 15 years, possible sexually transmitted infection, heart problems, renal failure, cancer and lots of stress related issues like high blood pressure, stroke, depression, PTSD etc... Is that the life you want?? Get out, heal yourself, take care of yourself - DO NOT rush into another relationship for 12 months, you will attrack what you put out there! Rebuild your sense of self and DO NOT contact the BPD under any circumstances. Write down all the things that happened in the relationship and keep it as a reminder for whenever you are feeling weak. If you can recall any warning signs (red flags) write the down and keep them in mind for future relationships. Remember, the eyes are the window to the soul - BPDs have "Crazy Eyes", they look different because they have no souls. These people and their illness will affect ALL their relationships in the future, they will die alone, in fear and shame - YOU DESERVE BETTER. For the guys out there here is some very good indicators for a possible female BPD candidate:

    1. Their words do not match their actions
    2. Your gut / instincts tell you something is not right.
    3. They seem too good to be true.
    4. They villainize past significant others.
    5. They do not have many friends.
    6. The friendships they do have seem shallow.
    7. They have an abusive and/or controlling parent.
    8. They do not accept responsibility and are blameless for their actions.
    9. Chances are they abuse alcohol and/or drugs.
    10. They are secretive and hide things from you.
    11. They try to keep you to from your friends or family.
    12. They are physically attractive.
    13. They lie.
    14. They are impulsive.
    15. They fall in love with you way too quickly.
    16. They say what you want to hear.
    17. They push you away and quickly pull you back.
    18. You never feel completely secure about where you stand with them.
    19. They have evidence of self-injury.
    20. The sex is amazing beyond belief.
    21. They quickly cycle through varying emotions.
    22. They have friends of the opposite sex that make you uncomfortable.
    23. They are always texting or chatting online.
    24. They have distant, empty eyes.
    25. They have acute, unwarranted emotional reactions.

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  7. All of the indicators are true of male BPD too. I still don't know if they consciously set out to do this or if they are "programmed" to do so.

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  8. Great piece here. All of the above 1-25 are also true of male BPD's. My first sight of my ex BPD and the look of despair in his eyes...WOW. You have it so right there. I have to work on why i felt an attraction to these eyes......
    Two years post BPD now.

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  9. Three months ago I ended a year and a half long relationship. After some research and therapy I figured out that more likely than not she has BPD along with obsessive-compulsive, passive-aggressive and eating disorders. This has been eye opening for me and certainly has helped me understand the chaos, lies, manipulation and disappointment that characterized the relationship.

    She was bright, charming and attractive and had lots of jobs and tons of friends and people on the periphery. On the outside she seemed like a really caring and likable person; that's probably what got me in the situation in the first place. But that calculated outward appearance betrayed the real her-- the emotional instability, the rage, her insatiable emotional needs for attention, the sabotage and her undercover abuse. She continually tried to control me through no-win situations, stories about how many other guys were interested in her, complete disengagement, false promises and saying one thing and doing another.

    She was a master manipulator and could have complete strangers in her pocket in less than a few minutes. She had an uncanny knack for getting people to open up to her and trust her (including myself). I really think she believed her own b.s. and that was what made her so successful at it.

    There were instances where old relationships she'd had came back into play and I overlooked it. From what I could gather there is a high percentage of rebound relationships with borderlines and that was probably what I was seeing. She would simply defuse it by saying they were "just friends", but now I know better even though I'll never really know the Truth.

    There were so many screwed up things that happened: we would be doing fine and then it would explode and she would say she wanted things to be heading in a direction, meaning marriage, yet publicly she wouldn't even admit to the fact that we were dating. In the end it was just a disaster, always some crisis for no apparent reason at the worst times.

    One of the more challenging parts of this experience has been knowing that she has borderline and not doing anything about it, not telling anyone and seeing how everyone else eats it up. At first I had this notion that I would do something noble and tell her I knew the real situation, bleh, bleh, bleh, but I got over that pretty quickly. She's not going to change unless she wants to. I think she's developed a way to construct her dysfunctional life that for the most part sustains her needs, she's that good at it. I don't think there's any motivation for her to change, even if I said something to her, she'd deny it or turn it around and really there's no reason for her to change. I'm sure there's already someone that was in my position and he doesn't have a clue.

    Some research suggests that borderlines have suffered from childhood sexual abuse or a lack of mother/daughter bonding during the first year of infant development. I can have some empathy for that, but that doesn't give them the right to just leave a path of destruction. Some sources argue for a more compassionate view on BPD, but if you're like me and have been involved in a relationship with a borderline you're gonna have to take a more aggressive stance on your own well-being and personal recovery.

    I guess I would just say, it took me a while to get to this understanding and if you think you might be in a relationship with a borderline then don't delude yourself with ideas that things can change or that they, the person, will change because they won't. You can change, you can remove yourself from the situation, change your mindset, chalk it off to a life lesson learned and don't look back. This is the same person that wielded distortion campaigns against you and crushed your heart under their foot in front of everyone.

    I'd rather be alone than pretend that everything is all right.

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  10. Wow someone finally mentioned the CRAZY EYES. I loved her eyes but I only saw the crazy eyes twice. I think its a state of fear or paranoia. One time my phone broke in the middle of our good night xxxooo conversation. 2 hours later(she lived 2hr away)she showed up. I was shocked as she pulled up and as I said the words "my phone broke" I noticed it. She heard me and it went away instantly. She said, she wanted to make sure I had my numbers for work. She seemed fine and I was so blown away by the caring deed. I loved her so much for that.
    After she dumped me at the blissful, problem free hieght of our passionate romance, to marry someone else a month after agreeing to marry me I realized that the phone breaking put her in a state of fear compelling her to drive to me. Then she lied to cover it up. I hate knowing that she was so scared driving all that way. The look is burned in my memory and makes me cry every time I think about it. It's hard not to have sympathy even though I had a nervous breakdown discovering my soul mate was a pathological liar and cheater. She never got married. If she only knew I could never abandon her. I loved you, you crazy bitch. Be safe sweet heart.

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  11. Gosh, where do I begin, well, I met this guy on the internet, he was married, and so was I. We both were lacking in our marriage which is why we were on in the first place. Well, he said and promised so much, it would have been nice to know that all he was saying was true, needless to say it wasn't. 2 months later he stopped calling and I soon found out I was pregnant. I contacted him and he just started going off. About 7 months into the pregnancy he and I became friends again. Come to find out while he and I were starting to get together, he was dating someone else, telling her the same exact stories I heard. I was broken by this, he then said he had a sexual addiction problem, and could only be with a women for 2 months, gets bored and needs to move on. This happened one other time after that. He was an alcoholic, and at times would go off on tangent, I thought at the time it was the alcohol. He was in a abusive relationship where he was the one being abused. He appeared to be heartless at times. We connected again and had another child, I never understood how a man with no kids couldn't care about the only children he had. He said he was incapable of loving someone, but never said why. He often talked about suicide and being lonely, but again, I thought it was the alcohol. When he stopped drinking a year ago, he started to do compulsive shopping, it was then that I did research and saw he carried many signs of bpd. I brought this to his attention and he said he's had 2 diagnosis both stating that. I was hurt he didn't tell me from the start. In the process of our 2 year friendship I developed true feelings for this man, loved him more than I have ever loved anyone in my life, but came to realize he could never love me back. How can he show so much attention to me and not be able to love me the way I want him too? Will he ever love me, am I wasting my time hoping that one day he will look at me and realize I'm the one he wants???? I know I'm babbling, but I'm really hurt. I felt played and abused, but after reading some articles, I realize it's not his fault and I'm able to forgive him more than I already had. I just wish he could love me.

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  12. These women are very destructive, and should not be trifled with.. The cheating and scheming will drive a man to rage... When I found out about the other guys I was going to rip her head off... Truly brought out the worst in me... I dumped her 7 months ago for the final time and have not contacted he since (she lives a few houses down from me)... I pass her on the street and say nothing, she texted me Happy Birthday in Feb and I did not respond at all and never will.. Dont romantazize the relationships, IT IS NOT AND PROBABLY NEVER WAS REAL!! Cut your losses and begin the healing process, it is taking a long time to recover myself,...

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  13. My ex(male) suffers from ADD and BPD and lives his life in a lot of chaos.He can be loving and available one minute and cold,blaming,defensive,angry and reactonary the next.Adoring me,telling me I'm his" soulmate "and "love of his life",how he can't live without me and that I make him so happy ..then,pow!..he is triggered by any form of constructive critiscism or my expressing my needs or disappointments in his inconsistencies,lies,hiding,extra "friendships,etc and he hates me and flees the relationship.This has happened over and over and over.He pushes and pulls.Brings me close again and then runs away.....it's like loving Dr Jekell and Mr Hyde.I have never been more confused by a person in my entire life.I have deeply loved him and wanted to help him in any way I could..and I did!Only to be made the villian and left until he changes his mind,comes to his senses(don't really think that's possible anymore now that I understand his disorders),or needs my love again.I HAVE BEEN DEVASTATED BY THIS TREATMENT(and so has my family...watching me in such grief and confusion and despair)So,my message /warning is this.....if you feel like your mate's words are not consistant with their actions,it feels like you're with someone that has two different personalities,is lying and hiding things,loves you one minute then can easily flip a switch and hate you,villianize you,blame you,etc,is paranoid for no logical reason,engages in risky behaviors.......do not deny your gut instincts and second guess yoursefl(as I have done)Instead,get educated,get support,get healthy again(mentally and physically..both of these have probably been seriously compromised from this relationship) and get on with your life in whatever way you can.
    I have loved my ex so deeply and honestly and purely but unfortunately didn't get the same in return...he's simply not capable...he's just too damaged.I feel a great deal of empathy for him and hope he gets help and gets on some meds.I,however,realize now that his "love" for me was really only about HIM. So sad.

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  14. I have a gf with BPD... woke me up going crazy because my facebook account said I had a different number of friends then what I was supposed to have??? I don't know what the hell she was talking about but of course I'm immediately HIDING something.... which of course was not true.. but she wants my login info... Okay so I give it to her because I don't have anything to hide. I'm letting her check it out now while I process all this...

    This is just one example of all the emotional crap I've had to put up with for the last 11 months. She made me so angry today that now I am on this site and researching BPD a little more. She was diagnosed as a teenager. I'm just soooo tired of having to deal with the CONSTANT insecurities.... the CONSTANT questions of "do you love me?" "are you still in love with me?" "do you still want a future with me?" "you still want to marry me someday?" OH MY GOD IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY! I love her so so SO much... I truly believe that we are soul mates but am I just fooling myself? I don't know what to day. She wants to get married so bad and honestly I thought thats what I wanted too... but after reading some of what I've found online now I am really scared to death. She isn't really verbally abusive... she is just emotionally draining. There is a constant lack of trust and fear of abandonment. I've been thinking okay well if we get married then she will see that I really do love her and I'm not going anywhere... but am I wrong? Will things only get worse? I mean I'm a Christian and believe that we have ALL been broken in one form or another... but what if God were to say "Okay he's broken there's no hope for him/her... next!" I mean we would all be in serious trouble... So I have a real problem with the fact that all I hear is people talking about they are broken, leave, get out while you still can... I mean don't people with BPD deserve love and to be happy too? Can't it EVER work out? I mean I truly believe that we REALLY love each other... I'm just so tired of the stress and emotional stuff... but she really is an AMAZING woman. I don't want to lose her but I've been in a marriage that didn't work before and I've got to be sure it will work before I tie that knot again. Will it EVER get better? Does it always have to fail?

    When it's good its really good... when it's bad it's really bad... does one out way the other? I don't know. I'm really confused. God help me.

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  15. I have a gf with BPD... woke me up going crazy because my facebook account said I had a different number of friends then what I was supposed to have??? I don't know what the hell she was talking about but of course I'm immediately HIDING something.... which of course was not true.. but she wants my login info... Okay so I give it to her because I don't have anything to hide. I'm letting her check it out now while I process all this...

    This is just one example of all the emotional crap I've had to put up with for the last 11 months. She made me so angry today that now I am on this site and researching BPD a little more. She was diagnosed as a teenager. I'm just soooo tired of having to deal with the CONSTANT insecurities.... the CONSTANT questions of "do you love me?" "are you still in love with me?" "do you still want a future with me?" "you still want to marry me someday?" OH MY GOD IT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY! I love her so so SO much... I truly believe that we are soul mates but am I just fooling myself? I don't know what to day. She wants to get married so bad and honestly I thought thats what I wanted too... but after reading some of what I've found online now I am really scared to death. She isn't really verbally abusive... she is just emotionally draining. There is a constant lack of trust and fear of abandonment. I've been thinking okay well if we get married then she will see that I really do love her and I'm not going anywhere... but am I wrong? Will things only get worse? I mean I'm a Christian and believe that we have ALL been broken in one form or another... but what if God were to say "Okay he's broken there's no hope for him/her... next!" I mean we would all be in serious trouble... So I have a real problem with the fact that all I hear is people talking about they are broken, leave, get out while you still can... I mean don't people with BPD deserve love and to be happy too? Can't it EVER work out? I mean I truly believe that we REALLY love each other... I'm just so tired of the stress and emotional stuff... but she really is an AMAZING woman. I don't want to lose her but I've been in a marriage that didn't work before and I've got to be sure it will work before I tie that knot again. Will it EVER get better? Does it always have to fail?

    When it's good its really good... when it's bad it's really bad... does one out way the other? I don't know. I'm really confused. God help me.

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  16. My gf bpd disappeared over the holiday. Blaming me for everything, calling me unstable....I have two years of her crazy emails and texts. The last time I was in her home I saw that al of the stuff I had given her was in a drawer unused. And those eyes - not crazy but so dark and empty. She is gay, not gay, intensely homophobic, then suddenly ok and loving. Everyday was a new crisis or spin.

    I feel like shit - but she was a part of my life that became meaningful.....in the worst way cause now I feel like I am in detox from a virus that had taken over my psyche, my life. All the pet names, the constant calls, the freakish response if I wasn't ho,e on time. Now I feel broken......

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